The world's greatest theatre?
Arguably the greatest theatre in the world, the Royal National Theatre is also one of London's most iconic landmarks and perhaps this country's foremost example of brutalist architecture. It boasts four auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton, Dorfman and Temporary – a firm foothold on the West End thanks to 'War Horse' and 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', and its NT Live programme beams its greatest hits to cinemas across the globe.
NT Live is just one of the initiatives to issue forth from the golden reign of Nicholas Hytner, which saw a canny mix of modernised classics, popular new writing, the odd worthy excavation from the canon and a splash of hip experimental work fill out the houses night after night, something further driven by a major initiative to reduce ticket prices by actively seeking private sponsorship, notably that of Travelex, who heavily subside tickets in the Lyttelton and Olivier.
The current artistic director is Hytner's successor Rufus Norris, whose initial programming has stuck with many Hytner fundamentals but offered an edgier, more international spin.
Following major upgrade work in 2014, the National Theatre sports all manner of eating and drinking facilities, including flagship restaurant House. Our top tip is The Understudy, a fine riverside bar which brews its own lager and plays excellent music.
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|Opening hours:||9.30am-11pm Mon-Sat (12noon-6pm Sun when there is a performance in the building)|
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Wannabe DJ Jason staggers from party to punch-up to early morning rave in this drug-addled tall story by Emmet Kirwan. Together with Ian Lloyd Anderson, he performs this super slick spoken word show about brotherhood, music, and the bonding power of narcotics. 'Dublin...Experimental Tuesday January 24 2017 - Tuesday January 31 2017
This heartbreaking family show is inspired by the 2004 Beslan school siege in Russia - but don't let that stop you going. Brussels-based company Bronks made a hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe with their imaginative, witty show, which highlights all the...Experimental Friday February 3 2017 - Saturday February 18 2017
William Shakespeare's gender-crossing comedy 'Twelfth Night' gets, er, some more gender-crossing as bitter, romantically confused steward Malvolio becomes Malvolia, as played by national treasure Tamsin Greig. That's all we really know about Simon Godwin's...Shakespeare Wednesday February 15 2017 - Monday April 17 2017
Ugly Lies the Bone
Tricycle Theatre boss Indhu Rubasingham follows up her hit NT debut 'The Motherf**ker with the Hat' with another new US drama. The rather high-concept sounding 'Ugly Lies the Bone', by Lindsey Ferrentino, concerns Jess (Kate Fleetwood), a veteran of three...Drama Wednesday February 22 2017 - Saturday April 1 2017
My Country; a work in progress
It feels like Britain's done little else but talk about the aftermath of the EU referendum - and the National Theatre's been listening. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and NT boss Rufus Norris will try to distil all the hot air into a new piece of verbatim...Experimental Tuesday February 28 2017 - Friday April 21 2017
Lost Without Words
This fascinating new show – a co-production with the esteemed Improbable – was inspired by its directors' interest in gifted older actors who cease stage performing due to worry about remembering the lines. 'Lost Without Words' bypasses this completely:...Experimental Saturday March 4 2017 - Saturday March 18 2017
It's been a few years since we heard from the playwright Nine Raine, but this is a pretty juicy-sounding comeback: she makes her National Theatre debut with 'Consent', a play about two male best friends taking opposing briefs in the rape case of a woman...Drama Tuesday March 28 2017 - Wednesday May 17 2017
Angels in America
The centrepiece of the National Theatre's 2017 programming is this jaw-dropping looking revival of Tony Kushner's two play epic about the Aids epidemic 'Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes'. The magnificent Marianne Elliott will make...Drama Tuesday April 11 2017 - Saturday August 19 2017
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
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An amazing contemporary venue that allows you get up close to stars big and small in a tremendously creative space.
Might be the most special venue in the entire world for me. You could spend the entire day here and fell at home & entertainted. Contantly changing yet stays the most welcoming. It may look like a fortress from the outside but once you step in you just don't wanna leave. Magic space! Happy 52th birthday, btw )
A wonderful space for the public as well as a place to see some fantastic theatre, often at extremely reasonable prices. Really good coffee too!
Nothing like the National! Best night out in London and seeing the inner workings of his great theater is a delight! Don miss it!!
The National never fail in excelling with putting on some first class pieces of theatre. The Travelex season makes it even sweeter, as well as the building being a great example of brutalist architecture, and located in one of my favourite parts of London.
Outstanding. If you haven't been to watch something here yet, you haven't experienced true London. This is how theatre should be done.